Parole agents hit streets on Halloween night, net 4 arrests

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - Halloween drew thousands of children in costume for a night out of fun as they went door to door asking for a treat.

State parole agents also hit the streets, though for a different reason.

Five two-person teams fanned out across metropolitan Bakersfield, paying a visit to sex offenders on parole. It was part of Operation Boo, now in its' 20th year of operation by the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

"What we're trying to do is make sure that the kids are safe out there," said James Stanton, Parole Agent III, Unit Supervisor.

Under Operation Boo, parole agents make a compliance check. Sex offenders must be at their home and have no Halloween decorations, must have their lights out and cannot answer the door to anyone other than law enforcement. Those not in compliance are arrested as a parole violation, said Stanton.

Not all sex offenders were staying indoors. Some are homeless. Parole agents John Fink and Carmen Richmond used GPS to track down one sex offender living in his truck at a remote location in the foothills off Comanche Road. The parolee was located in an isolated area, but was in compliance.

The sex offender said he had recently lost his job and could not afford an apartment. Parole agents made a total of 94 compliance checks. Four people were arrested, two for drug offenses, another for a curfew violation and another for being in possession of a video for children, a violation of his parole.